Summary: What if we start getting intentional about what we’re doing—and why we’re doing it? God has plenty to teach us about creating goodness out of chaos.
Our jam-packed lives can feel like a wall of noise. Instead of living from a place of rest and purpose, we’re constantly putting out fires and powering through one more day. But what if we stop to rethink the rhythms in our life? What if we start getting intentional about what we’re doing—and why we’re doing it? God has plenty to teach us about creating goodness out of chaos. So we’re spending four weeks learning to carve sweet, freedom-bringing rhythm from everyday noise.
We can learn much about our Creator by looking at Creation. Notice how many things in nature are rhythmic...
Revolving of earth for seasons
Rotation on the earths axis for night and day
We all sleep like clockwork for a set period of time everyday
Women having a certain unfortunate rhythm every month
Birth and death of all that is created, whether plant or animal
The hope of a new Bengals season which is rhythmically crushed
1) Embracing Extremes
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
If everything we know in the world operates this way then we should operate this way.
the bigger your mission or purpose, the bigger your play....built-in to your rhythms.
No one multi-tasks. We toggle. It is neurologically impossible to listen to someone on the phone and type an email. It is familially impossible to build into your children while you are preparing for a presentation. It is spiritually impossible to build into yourself if you are only productive or you only rest.
Less than half the people I’ve interviewed would say they work around the clock out of fear, and more than half would say they do it out of habit. We use work to numb out. We can’t turn off our machines because we’re afraid we’re going to miss something. Exhaustion is Not a Status Symbol by Lillian Cunningham in Washington Post’s On Leadership section
Our their fear is: If I really stopped and let myself relax, I would crater. Because the truth is I’m exhausted, I’m disconnected from my spouse, kids, girlfriend and friends. We fear that if I let off the gas the wheels will come off.
Today it’s a mark of honor to say you’re busy. “How are you today?” “Ugh, just busy.” We even feel guilty when we tell people we have rhythms where we intentionally do nothing.
Mark 2:13- Jesus is along at the lake before teaching
Mark 3:7- Jesus withdraws with his disciples
Mark 3:13- Jesus goes up the mountainside and calls his disciples
Mark 4:35- Jesus leaves the crowds by getting into a boat
Mark 5:1- Jesus at the lake/hillside
Mark 5:21- Jesus crosses the lake to the other side again
Mark 6:45-46- Jesus sends his disciples ahead, dismisses the crowd, and goes up a mountain to pray
2) Scheduling Values
We must pin what we want to places in our schedule. When I was young the culture helped us to rest. You couldn't find a store open on Sundays. In our suburban part of Pittsburgh in the 70s there were only two places you could eat. It was e only time my parents went to a bar.
We can learn about how rhythm works by looking at nature. We should care about the destruction of rainforests on the other side of the globe because it is part of the necessary melody to making the planet healthy and habitable. Likewise we should care about the destruction of having a Sabbath Rest or the destruction of healthy and regular mealtimes with family or friends. We should care about the destruction of silence and an inability to be by ourselves without our thumbs moving.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply
First commandment is, "be fruitful and multiply," And yet the first day is spent resting.
SEMI-CIRCLE DRAWING WITH WHITE BOARD
Some of the most driven and gifted people I know are also those who are stuck in their productivity. There hasn't been a breakthrough in their fruit for a long time and it is because their life has no rhythm. To have punch, I must pull back to have force. Keeping my arm extended wont give me power. Also, bringing it back just a little doesn't give me enough rhythm or have force.
This is why the nation of Israel had mandated festivals. These weren't the church festivals that we know today. These weren't things where you went out of obligation to support the budget. These were fun multi-day blowouts. And, there were strict consequences for not participating. And, people wanted to participate. They liked the rhythm of rest.